A classicist, paradigmatic Sushi Chef resurfaces in Costa Mesa

A few years back the original owner of Shibucho (the downtown LA Yaohan plaza location) came back out of retirement to the U.S. to open up a new sushi parlor with his son in a mini-mall on 19th St in Costa Mesa (next door to an In N Out burger). His sushi has always been traditional, but he’s far from being fanatical about. You can order by the piece or the traditional omakase. Whichever way you decide to go you’ll still end up winning. Not all of his sushi melts on the mouth. In fact, one of the unique characteristics about sushi is the texture in addition of course to flavor. Some pieces are chewy and some not to much. Shibutani-san usually serves up a piece of cooked fish as an amuse-bouche before the onslaught of great raw fish. His wife will place a cup of piping hot green tea in a homemade pottery mug and refill it before you even realized you needed it. The service speaks in subtleties rather than being overbearing. The sushi bar reveals itself as a beautiful family operation. Trust Shibutani-san and he won’t steer you wrong. He also enjoys transfers his artistry to his customers and educate about the different varieties of fish out there. His unique homemade soy sauce, ponzu, and yuzu sauce only help to reinforce the lengths he goes to for his devoted customers. Dinner is quite reasonable at Shibucho. There are usually free tidbits thrown in on the house whether you are a regular or just becoming one.

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